Tiger Woods urges George Floyd protesters to stop ‘burning the very neighbourhoods that we live in’ amid deadly US riots – The SunJune 2, 2020
TIGER WOODS has urged those protesting George Floyd's death to "stop burning the very neighbourhoods that we live in".
Peaceful protests in the wake of Floyd's death have turned violent across swathes of the United States.
Donald Trump last night threatened to deploy the military by saying he would put "thousands" of troops on the streets to "solve the problem" of rioting and looting.
Sports stars the world over have raised awareness of Floyd's death – captured on video with a white cop kneeling on his neck for eight minutes – and come out in support of those protesting peacefully.
Four Bundesliga stars, including England ace Jadon Sancho, paid their own tributes over the weekend, while Lewis Hamilton blasted F1 for its silence over the injustice.
And in a rare foray into public life, 15-time major champion Woods – who received the Medal of Freedom from Trump last year – issued a statement of his own urging calm on the streets after one man was shot dead in Louisville, Kentucky.
Legendary golfer Woods, 44, tweeted last night: "My heart goes out to George Floyd, his loved ones and all of us who are hurting right now.
"I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement.
"They train so diligently to understand how, when and where to use force.
"This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line.
"I remember the LA riots and learned that education is the best path forward.
"We can make our points without burning the very neighbourhoods that we live in.
"I hope that through constructive, honest conversations we can build a safer, unified society."
Woods' comments were mostly met with support but one branded it "limp" and another called it "weak and spineless".
Others pointed out that Woods had played golf with Trump in the past – something world No 1 Rory McIlroy recently vowed never to do again.
As the president spoke yesterday, loud explosions could be heard in the background as tear gas was fired at protesters on the streets of Washington DC.
Before the speech, officers near the White House aggressively forced the protesters back, firing tear gas and using flash bangs to disperse them from the park where they had gathered.
As helicopter blades chopped loudly the skies above, Trump said: "My first and highest duty as president is to defend our great country and the American people.
"I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation and that is exactly what I will do."
Woods' comments came as golf fans urged the sport to do something, with athletes across the board offering their support.
European Ryder Cup stars Thomas Pieters and Jon Rahm were among those to speak out by backing protesters and demanding equality.
While Woods' fellow black PGA Tour star Harold Varner III wrote a two-page statement in which he called Floyd's killing "evil incarnate".
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